The Gentlemen - Sending Cards
Simon Jay Catling 31/03/2009
What's in a band name? Well in The Gentlemen's case it would seem it's an attempt to join all those other drab, wet acts who feel the use of the definite article makes up for said drab and moistness by trying to convince the listener that they really are a group, a gang, a collection of best mates, who've been making music together since they were 12 and who are just trying to make melodies the average person can get involved in.
The trouble for The Gentlemen is that their music is roughly about as bland as their name; “animated, heart pumping rhythms, harmony and soulful melodic energy” these days apparently seems to be a byphrase for “churning out forgettable plastic sounding tosh that'll at best sound utterly forgettable at any standard Club NME night and at worst allow a band a chance to greet our Olympic athletes home (hello The Feeling and Scouting For Girls). A basic (and extremely flawed) structure of Britain's current selection of average four to the floor guitar toting British guitar bands (ok we'll call it Indie for ease's sake) at the moment seems to be the following: 1. Indie 2. Generic Indie 3. Diluted Generic Indie (again, hello The Feeling And Scouting For Girls); The Gentlemen are all over this latter category like a crunch on credit, and simply put it's dull. Sending Cards has its guitars well and truly chopped, its choruses well and truly hooked and its lyrics well and truly repeated. “I want for you to want me too, I want for you to want me too” moans lead singer Nicholas Noble, sounding not unlike that bloke out of Haven, and you can't help thinking that the object of the lovelorn front man's affections might have been more tempted if he'd been just a bit more interesting.
Because unfortunately for The Gentlemen (who I'm sure are utterly delightful chaps who you'd take to meet your Gran), the collective spirit of being in a gang has failed to inspire even one noteworthy or worthwhile point of reference. Pity that.